I get that my job (aside from being a stay at home Mom and homeschooler) is weird to people. Twenty years ago saying you worked as a blogger or in social media simply wasn’t a thing. At least, not something you could call a business or a way of income.
But these days people are making a living off of running professional websites, managing social media accounts for other brands, and going on to sign book deals or getting TV shows.
I think this world of blogging is often misunderstood. To be fair, we often bring it on ourselves because we’re only showing the end result. Our readers see us going on press trips, receiving expensive products for review and attending special events. It looks fun and flashy, but what many aren’t realizing is the work that went on behind the scenes to get there.
Most bloggers I know didn’t get into this industry for the free stuff. We got into this world because we love to write and connect with an audience. We love to share about what we love, pass on information that’s helpful, or give our honest opinion on something. Are there perks that sometimes come about because of that? Absolutely. But we’ve put in a lot of work behind the scenes to get where we are.
What Blogging Isn’t | It Isn’t Luck
It isn’t luck. We’ve spent hours pitching, emailing, and crafting blog posts. We’ve poured through analytic charts, contracts, and schedules to make sure the company we’re working with are getting the most exposure we can give them. We’ve flown across the country to meet with firms, attended meetings both in person and on the phone, and tweeted for a year to secure a new relationship. We’ve tested products and photographed them from every angle. Behind the scenes we’re working our tails off.
In other words, nothing is free. It took me two years of continuous blogging before I made a single cent. Many times I’ve run a giveaway or blogged about a product and haven’t received anything for it. I just wanted to share! The money I do generate goes towards our family adventures or helps cover the cost of the website itself.
If I was paid to talk about a product or travel destination, I make that clear. A lot of the time travel is happening on my own dime and I never write about something I wouldn’t use/attend just because I was paid to do so.
What Blogging Isn’t | Saying Yes to Everything That’s Free
I say no a lot. If I’m invited to a show I don’t morally agree with, I say no. If I’m offered a contract with a company I feel isn’t to be trusted, I say no. If a company wants me to do something that means too much time away from my family, I say no. Free stuff can be exciting, but I wouldn’t feel write about telling you to try something I myself wouldn’t use.
Blogging is not about the trips, the photos of me looking glamorous and posed, or the bragging rights. Blogging has given me a way to express myself and be creative. It’s given me a chance to do something other than talk about Mario and Paw Patrol all day with my kids. It allows me to connect with other people going through similar stages in life or to share a common interest.
I’m my own boss and that gives me the freedoms to take breaks and be flexible about my hours. I honor my commitments to both my family and the companies I work with, but I blog because I love it. When the day comes that I don’t enjoy it anymore, I’ll say goodbye.
I’m thankful for each and every opportunity that comes my way and I don’t take any of it for granted. It could all go away tomorrow, and I want to have a clear conscience the day that it does.